Now that the Seahawks are 9-5 and have clinched a playoff berth, let’s look back at some of the assumptions and predictions people made when they had a losing record.
In 1889, Thomas Edison said fooling around with alternating current was a waste of time.
In 1932, Albert Einstein said nuclear energy would never be attainable.
And in 1995, Robert Metcalfe, co-inventor of Ethernet, said the Internet would “catastrophically collapse” by the following year.
In other words — fret not. Smarter people than us have gotten it wrong.
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Still, I can’t help but look back at some of the assumptions and predictions made about the Seahawks when they were 0-2, 2-4, or 4-5 this season. Fans engaged in arthritis-inducing finger-pointing and declared the season dead. There even was a rumor (although it doesn’t really seem plausible) that a local sports writer or two had dismissed the team as well.
Now that the Seahawks are 9-5 and have clinched a playoff berth, let’s look back at some of the things people said:
“It’s the Ciara Curse — she’s ruined Russell Wilson!”
Who among us hasn’t spent our week off posing on horses in Mexico with our significant other? Did it really affect our job performance? The truth is, ever since Wilson’s bye-week getaway with his pop-star girlfriend, he has been the best quarterback in football.
As far as dominance goes, Wilson’s past five weeks are akin to Kobe Bryant’s nine consecutive games with at least 40 points, or Ken Griffey Jr.’s eight consecutive games with a home run. You have to go outside football for a proper comparison. That’s nuts.
The Ciara Cure, anyone?
“The Seahawks’ prime-time players got paid and don’t care anymore!”
Wilson might be tops on the team when it comes to fame, but he has plenty of company in terms of fortune. From Richard Sherman to Earl Thomas to Bobby Wagner — these guys’ bank accounts went from Hummer-sized to Himalayan-sized.
It’s easy to slack when you have a mansion to come home to, right? No need for extra effort when your paycheck has those extra zeros.
Except, when you see Thomas leading the Hawks in interceptions, Sherman shutting down one star receiver after another, and Wilson making an MVP push, you can’t say they’ve eased up. If anything, paying these players appears to have to paid off.
“Fire Darrell Bevell! And Kris Richard, too!”
Drill sergeants cringed at the verbal abuse once hurled at these coordinators. Bullies donated stolen lunch money to pay for their therapy.
With the Seahawks falling short on both sides of the ball, fans turned these two into targets and shot arrow upon arrow.
After the first game of the year, Marshawn Lynch’s mother took to Facebook and called for Bevell’s job, saying the offensive coordinator was costing the team wins. Most fans agreed.
Similar hostility toward Richard emerged, when the once-impregnable Seahawks defense was blowing multiple-score leads in the fourth quarter.
But over the past five games, the offense is as potent as ever despite the absence of Lynch, Jimmy Graham and, most recently, Thomas Rawls.
The defense, meanwhile, has given up just 19 points in the past three games (the Vikings’ lone TD came on a kickoff return) and is second in the NFL in yards allowed.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the two coordinators are going to be around much longer. But only because teams around the country are thinking, “Hire Darrell Bevell. And Kris Richard, too.”
“The offensive line is going to cost the Hawks a playoff berth … and maybe Russell Wilson’s life!”
This actually was a legitimate concern for a while. Despite Wilson being the NFL’s most mobile quarterback, he was sacked a league-high 31 times through the first seven weeks.
Most assumed the O-line was doomed, including the cynic writing this column. Then, astonishingly, the unit went from terrible to tremendous.
After 31 sacks through the first seven games, Wilson was sacked just seven times through the next six. And against the Ravens two Sundays ago, he had a whopping 4.9 seconds to throw before a touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett.
The line has gone from a group the Seahawks hoped to win in spite of, to a group they might just win because of. Few saw that coming.
“What are you talking about?! There isn’t a single 12 who ever had a doubt about anything!”
Right. My mistake.